Friday, February 15, 2013

Elephantmen #46

Written by Richard Starkings
Art by Shaky Kane

For the second time now, Shaky Kane pops into the Elephantmen world to provide a very weird little story that, while building on the series's continuity, doesn't really add much to Richard Starkings's long-term storyline.

Hip Flask has been sent to investigate a building in downtown LA, and is surprised to find it full of strange green mushrooms.  A woman appears, and begins puking up more of the same mushrooms, which freaks out Miki, Hip's on-again, off-again girlfriend.  Hip notices that there is a connection between these mushrooms and the FCN virus, which wiped out most of the population of Europe during the Mappo days.

The story that follows is odd, as we meet a guy named Harry Hazard, who was on the beach when an FCN-laden meteorite struck, many issues ago.  As he was buried up to his neck in sand, and had his head covered by a plastic bucket (don't ask), he was spared the worst effects of the virus, instead becoming blue and transparent, and able to grow mushrooms from his body at will.

As I said, it's a strange story, even for Elephantmen, a book which often serves as an outlet for whatever Starkings wishes to explore (last issue there was a beautifully illustrated Buddhist myth that ran for a number of pages).  Kane is a singular artist, and it's very clear that Starkings and he just wanted to have some fun with this issue, giving us an odd look at the moments after a mushroom-fuelled orgy.

This unpredictability is one of the reasons I enjoy Elephantmen so much, even when I sometimes find Starkings's unconcerned approach to linearity frustrating.  It's never a boring read.  Also, it's reminded me that I need to get my hands on the second Bulletproof Coffin series, as that is another comic where Kane cuts loose.

No comments: